It was a Monday afternoon, I was on my way home from Sogndal to Sunnmøre and I was looking for a (new) mountain to hike. The first candidate was Vora, provided that the mountain was free of fog. When I got to Egge in Våtedalen, I saw that most of the fog had left the mountain and Vora was a “go”.
I had heard that there was a path along Strandaelva river, but I didn’t know where it was. So I stopped by a farm at Strand and asked about the path. I was told to follow the tractor road behind the farm until I saw the Strandaheia/ Vora signpost. That’s where the forest path begins.
I parked down by the main road (150m elev.) and headed up the tractor road until I found the signpost. The tractor road continued that way but it was almost impossible to see due to high grass. Yet I was able to follow it into the forest where the real “climb” begun.
The path was marked by red paint, but due to fallen trees (probably after one of the hurricanes), the path didn’t go where it seemed logical. At one point I lost the path, but found it again a bit higher up. This was in the very beginning of the forest, so if you plan to go this way, you will be able to follow the path if you just take the time to look and think.
Above this section, the path was easier to follow. This is a steep forest ascent, and I was very happy when I topped out on a plain below Strandastøylen (old shepard’s hut).
The path continued across the plain and up along Gåsemyrelva. At approx. 920m, the path turned northeast, went across Strandaheia and the pass between Vora and Styggefjellet. I lost sight of the path (red paint / small cairns) at the foot of Vora, but that didn’t matter much. I had 350 vertical meters of boulder ahead of me and I definitely didn’t need to follow any red paint…
When I left the car at 3:20pm, I had a hope that I could reach the top within 2 hours, but didn’t think that would be possible when I crossed Strandaheia. But to my surprise, the time was only 5:15pm when I arrived on the summit.
The summit plateau reminded me of Blåfjellet – on the other side of Våtedalen; flat, rocky and not particularly exciting. The view towards Myklebustbreen was OK, but Snønipa was hidden in fog. So there was no reason to linger and 3 minutes later, I was on my way down.
I took a slightly different route down the mountain and joined my ascent route just before the steep forest at 820m. I did not want to take a fall on the steep trail and descended carefully. I returned to the car 6:37pm – 1h:19m after leaving the summit.